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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All;
I've owned alfas since 1987 and overall it has been a good experience. I currently own 5 built from 1960 to 2018. All have their own flair and all have been reliable given their age. Recently, however, a number of them are developing issues all at the same time. I thought I would share my experience in the "land of broken toys" just to document how antique car ownership can go sometimes.

story starts with my 69 boat tail spider. I have owned the car since 1991 and it has stranded me only once. The only issue I have with it is a grinding noise when starting the car from rest since I replaced the engine mounts. I was taking the car to a friends house and noticed it was raining. Car hasn't been out in the rain in 20 years. I thought: "should be fine.." About 5 miles from my friends house, the car cuts out and I notice the fuel pump is gone. That was AAA call number 1

Then, a few weeks later, I am out in my 65 Giulia Veloce. this one I have owned since 1992 and only been laid up once with a seized caliper. I get about 2 miles from my house, when the car coughs once and dies. It will turn over but not start. That was AAA call number 2. Shop tells me all they found was a loose wire to the coil. I pick it up from the shop and get halfway home and it dies again. call the shop and they tell me maybe the coil is bad. I walk home and get a new coil, car drives again. A week later I am out in it again and it cuts out and dies after 15 miles. Call #3 to AAA. This time we finally figured it out ( i think). Bad condenser. I switched to a Pertronix system, which was a bit of an ordeal because the aftermarket rotor didn't fit right and had to be extensively fettled. I also found a weak battery and replaced as well

On to the next car. My 60 SZ has always been a bit of a weakling. A switch to better cams from Richard Jemison really helped. the car can at least go uphill without shifting into second. I have noticed a good bit of vapor coming out of the vapor catch can. Last week i took the oil cap off with the engine running and air was puffing out of the oil fill hole like popeye the sailor man. Great, I have lots of blow by and the engine needs a rebuild.

oh, well, alfa collector problems! the struggle is real
 

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Actually sounds like you had a lot of years without a lot of stranded trouble. I love my AAA gold card also. haven’t had to use it on the Giulietta, which will probably jinx me now. It all catches up doesn’t it? What a great set of three cars you have, however! Congrats on the commitment and long run with them.
 

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Nothing wrong with being stranded with a vintage car. In fact, it's a badge of honor. You are not afraid of old metal. Why do you think we carry spare parts on our voyage. So that we can show the world that we know how to keep them going. My stranded experiences.

1) 58 giulietta: broken connecting rod. Ok so this could not be fixed on the road. But I, like most alfa owners know how to rebuild engines. It's in our DNA.

2) 1976 cosworth vega: failed control module. HEI system works great until its doesnt work at all. One minute it's running the next, it's on the side of the road. Changing a module is like changing a set of points. Keep a spare in the car. In 40 + yrs of ownership, its failed 3 times.

3) 1986 dodge ramcharger: failed starter bendix. Common problem with chrysler starters. They fail without warning. I got to where I could crawl under the truck and charge the starter without disconnecting the battery. The bendix was a $6 part. Always kept a spare starter with me and rebuilt the failed one once replaced.

4) 1970 nova: failed ignition switch. Just like the dodge, it failed without warning. I would crawl under the nova with a screwdriver and jump across the starter solinoid. The switch was under the dash on the steering column. I got tired of standing on my head to change it. So I installed a dodge starter relay in the circuit. Problem solved.

We own these classics so we can show the world that we are in control and nothing, not even an alfa, can stop us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
nice! getting it back together. 65 has a new pertronix ignition, and a new battery. 69 has a set of new tires, 60 is getting new pistons and liners, 66 GT Jr. getting new engine and gearbox. Drive them till the break, then fix and drive on! Just when it all happens same year its a bit of a budget buster.
 
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